Food Allergy Testing

Sensitivity Testing

There are two types of food allergies: type I and type III. The first type is the one we commonly associate with anaphylaxis – i.e. someone eats a peanut and immediately their throat swells up or they break out into hives. Type III is much more subtle and has a delayed onset, so it’s hard to tell what food or substance caused the symptoms. An example of this is when someone eats something (it could be anything i.e. milk, wheat, tomatoes, soy product, grapefruit) and a few hours or even days later they experience a sense of unwellness. Some common sypmtoms are:

  • IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
  • Low grade nasal stuffiness
  • Headache
  • Itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • More…

Often individuals have learned to live with the sypmtoms and never even imagine they are related to their diet.

Sample Report (96 foods, inhalants, and molds)

igg_test

More information about Type I and Type III

Here are more details about the two types. This information has been extracted from the laboratory that does the testing:

Immediate Hypersensitivity Allergic Reactions – Type I – IgE

Approximately 20% of the population has allergies to food or inhalants that show symptoms immediately. The reactions occur because of the release of an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is the body’s way of attacking the allergen. IgE releases histamine and other inflammation causing chemicals and thus, the following reactions may occur:

SYMPTOMS:

  • runny nose or watery eyes
  • difficulty breathing due to constriction of airways
  • redness and swelling
  • anaphylaxis: an acute allergic reaction that causes severe swelling and low blood pressure. Can be fatal.

Delayed Onset Allergic Reactions – Type III – IgG

These allergic reactions are difficult to diagnose because reactions do not occur until hours or days after exposure to an allergen. With delayed hypersensitivity reactions, an antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) is released in response to the allergen. IgG forms a complex with the allergen, which ordinarily is removed by cells dedicated to ridding the body of unwanted debris. However, if the complex load is too heavy, the ‘waste management’ cells become overwhelmed and IgG-allergen complexes can be deposited in various tissues resulting in the following symptoms:

SYMPTOMS:

  • high blood pressure
  • inflamed blood vessels (usually show up as small red or purple dots on legs)
  • skin and mucus membrane conditions
  • swelling around the eyes
  • headaches
  • asthma
  • recurrent lung infections
  • skin conditions
  • joint pain

How is the test done?

The test is done by collecting 3 drops of blood from a tiny finger prick. The blood is collected on specialized strips and sent to a medical laboratory.

To find out more about the specialized food allergy laboratory, visit their website at www.usbiotek.com. Also find out more about the Salivary Hormone Testing done by the same company.